It’s never too late, as a study recently observed that music sharpens brain function in teenagers along with the multitude of other benefits it offers. Music may be able to change the world after all, or at the very least, it might change the world for those select few who participate in instrumental training.
According to a new study at Northwerstern University, the underrated music classes in high school help brain development in teenagers who regularly attend group sessions or join bands. It’s not just a matter of socializing or a hobby, but it’s now a scientifically approved activity to boost development for still-maturing young adults.
The study followed the high school activity of 40 students entering their freshman year to fourth and last senior year, testing once when they began and a follow-up four years later. Out of the group, 19 students enrolled in music classes, learning and performing on a musical instrument, while the remaining 21 have picked more physical activities, such as enrolling in the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.
Study team leader, Nina Kraus, has noted that those with more artistic tendencies showed faster brain maturing than those engaging in physical hobbies, by testing their sensitivity to sounds and language skills. It goes beyond the capability of distinguishing musical notes, which is quite clearly an advantage of the musically inclined, as it can help in several other areas.
Details such as intonation or accent in another person’s voice are known as “phonological awareness”, which measures the ability to focus on details of a sound, such as frequency and rhythm. Those with musical training and regular practice with an instrument have shown significantly better results by focusing more efficiently on the sounds of speech.
Of course, this does not mean that by simple blasting the latest pop song hit over and over will aid brain development. The results have proven that both listening to music and engaging in practicing with a musical instruments sharpens the synaptic density within the region of brain that focuses on the auditory by keeping it constantly at work.
Many studies among the years have spoken loudly about the benefits of a musical education on a cognitive, behavioral and emotional level that could prove invaluable to the development of young children. However, its significance appears to remain even into later years, so parents should consider presenting the option of learning an instrument to their children.
Or at the very least, they could be more lenient with their scolding when loud music blasts from the garage because of their child’s ambitious dreams of becoming a rock star. After all, they’re sharpening their brains.
Image source: mnn.com